Former NY Priest Pleads Not Guilty to Child Rape in Massachusetts

Associated Press, carried in Boston Herald

November 18, 2008

PITTSFIELD - A former Roman Catholic priest from New York has pleaded not guilty in the alleged rapes of two children in western Massachusetts during the late 1980s.

Gary Mercure was indicted last month on three counts of rape of a child with force and one count of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14.

Mercure pleaded not guilty at his arraignment today in Berkshire Superior Court. His lawyer, Michael Jennings, said Mercure voluntarily gave a sample of his DNA, which he said does not match DNA found on clothing worn by one of the victims.

The alleged incidents occurred in Great Barrington and Monterey in 1986, and in New Ashford in 1989.

Mercure was removed as a priest by the Diocese of Albany, N.Y., in August after abuse allegations surfaced there. He is free on his own recognizance.


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